Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Review: Josh Carples - "Live at Seville"

  If you've ever wanted to see Josh Carples naked, now's your chance! Stripped down to just his Seagull acoustic-electric, unique voice, unfiltered emotions, and honest songwriting, "Live at Seville" features the artist alone, sans audience, sharing his words and notes, and it's endearingly personal and a fulfilling experience for listeners.

  Filmed at Seville Beauty and Barber Shop, the EP includes five songs - including the new track, "Fake A Smile" - and the accompanying videos can be viewed for free online. It was released May 23.

  Carples is known for his work with bands such as Marsellus and Hail The Titans as well as his solo work - "Ghost of a Town" (2013), "Final Scene" (2010), and "Note From The Georgian Hotel" (2008). In addition to his impressive vocal range and styling, he plays more instruments than space allows me to list here.

  What I've always enjoyed most about Carples' work is his fiercely independent spirit, crafting the songs and stories he wants to tell, and that musical trademark is readily showcased through these five songs. There's nothing pretentious or snobby about it, just Josh being Josh. You don't have to scrape through layers of superficial polish to get to the heart of his songs and what he's trying to convey to listeners. He just presents what he's feeling without any vapid pomp or unnecessary need to dazzle anyone. And those qualities are well showcased on "Live at Seville."

  Carples says of the song selection for the EP: "I wanted to pick songs that were slower and more melodic." He says he included "The Waters Won" because he rarely plays it live.

  The new song, "Fake A Smile," definitely stands out. In Carples' own words:

    "[It] has to do with a resurgence of emotions you think you've conquered and gotten over. You deal with things and you put them in the past thinking that's where they reside now. But a comment or a joke - even from well-meaning people - hits you, out of nowhere, really, in a way you don't expect. It brings those emotions back up, unexpectedly. But you don't want to discuss it. You don't want to show that it affects you because you really, genuinely think it shouldn't. But it does. So you just smile and act like it's all good, even if you feel broken on the inside."

  The "Live at Seville" videos were directed by C. DeWayne Cunningham of Carolyn Jean's Son Visions. Cunningham and Sylvester K. Folks handled the filming.

  "I've worked with both of them on various film projects over the past couple of years - both as an actor and crew member - and they both do phenomenal work and are great friends and fun to work with," Carples says.

  "I had been wanting to do a live session type thing," Carples says. "So I kept thinking of places or areas around Montgomery that had a cool aesthetic. Seville Beauty & Barber Shop popped in my head because of the colors and the artwork and just the whole feel and layout of the place."

  "I hope that when people listen to my music that they feel it and truly connect with it," Carples says.

    "I think that's what any artist wants - to create a connection between people and their work. And with this EP in particular, it's live, it's raw, it's not perfect by any means. But it's real. It's honest. It's emotional. And I hope that people will connect with the vulnerability that comes from its authenticity."

  For more information on Josh Carples's music and film work, visit

  About the author: Joseph O. Patton is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Capital City Free Press. He is a former news editor for the Coosa County News, lead reporter for the Montgomery Independent and editor-in-chief of the AUMnibus, the student newspaper of Auburn-Montgomery. Patton is also the creator of and writer for the satirical news radio segment "Goat Hill Gossip," which previously aired on WAUD in Auburn, Alabama and has appeared on several Central Alabama radio programs as a political analyst.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press 

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